January 14, 2004 at 9:49 am #93751HELLO :0)Participant
I am currently a premed student at the University of Colorado, majoring in literature. I have excellent grades and I expect to do well on the MCAT. I am 22 years old and I have a two year old son. Unfortunately, I joined the Marines at age 17. After completing boot camp I immediately realized the Marine Corps was not for me. I did, however, sign a four-year contract with the Corps. I was young, jaded, and irresponsible when I signed up. I decided to get out the only way I could, which was through an MHU (Mental Health Unit) discharge for depression and failure to adapt. By the time I apply for med school this will be 6 years in the past. I believe that I have solidly demonstrated my abilities by raising a child, working, and volunteering all while maintaining an excellent GPA as a full-time student. Will mistakes from my childhood come back to haunt me? What kind of backround checks will I be subject to and how will my past affect my chances at a career in medicine? Answers would be much appreciated.
Worried Dad in DenverJanuary 14, 2004 at 11:13 am #93753PremedRNParticipant
I cant really advise you on this issue, but just wanted to say you have my props. Obviously you can adjust well, did you getting out really have to do with having your son? That is a legitimate reason to want to get out of the service, I think. Even if you had to find some reason other than that to get out. Goodluck!January 14, 2004 at 12:59 pm #93754HELLO :0)Participant
Thanks for the support RN! :0)January 14, 2004 at 7:16 pm #93756PremedRNParticipant
No problem. You know, I think they may do the typical background invesitgation like from the FBI, to make sure you are not a convicted felon or something..that incident should not show up. However, applicants are encouraged to be honest about their pasts. I think 17 yrs is too young to be making such a decision. I also think the ad coms may look at it this way too. Not to be encouraging dishonesty, but I dont know if it would be worth mentioning, you only completed boot camp. So to me, you were only in the military out of technicality..You could say, “I made the decision of the military prematurely at the age of 17, and although having gone through this instilled responsibility, endurance (you get the picture), I knew the military wasnt right for me….so I requested to be discharged. I then entered college with raising my son…blah blah, blah…February 8, 2004 at 3:35 am #93758IsraeliGirlParticipant
My hart is with you… :crossfingers:
It is hard to imagine what serving in the army is like until you are there, under the army discipline. I know because I too served in the army (Israeli army), and several of my friends, all amazing people, were forced to take your path in order to get out of the service. I imagine choosing that path is even more tempting here, in the U.S., where most people never go to the army.
Unfortunately, I can’t really advise you what the schools will think. If I were you I would be honest and explain that I made a mistake at the age of 17, and that I took the only way out which was offered to me. You might mention that if you hadn’t the courage to put a stop to that mistake, you would have been miserable for four years, and probably wouldn’t have been applying to med school today. Did you try going to your local med school to ask how they would consider that story?
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